Monday, 21 November 2011

On a roll...

I've been writing every day for eight days now and am making good progress on my book - I've completed nearly 27 chapters so far. I'm feeling extra-pleased as I should hit my self-imposed deadline to finish the first draft before Christmas.
It has taken me a while to get this far. I was pregnant when I began writing it, and over the months that followed I had the disruption of a new kitchen (plaster dust everywhere and me heavily pregnant and frustrated as I was unable to begin nesting!), the joy of a new baby and my first taste of motherhood, two burglaries (within six weeks), the stress of moving house (thanks to the previous 'events') and the excitement of getting married (although the planning was a nightmare!). And all but the new kitchen took place within the space of little over seven months!
Talking of the little one, she has a rotten case of chickpox at the moment and is utterly fed up as we can't go anywhere until she's gone scabby - poor thing! And she is most definitely awake, so I'd better sign off now.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The Invisible House

Gemma had heard the story before, but she couldn't quite believe it.

A house which was there one minute and gone the next. It had been seen many times, outside the town, but no one ever seemed sure exactly where they had seen it. There had been several sightings in recent months, but it was never seen by the same person twice, so the accounts varied wildly.

It was a very old house, that they all agreed, half-covered by ivy with two chimneys and a big green dome on the top. And it was always half-hidden by mist or trees. But, after that, each tale differed. Its size varied from a cottage to a mansion. And it never seemed to be in the same spot twice. It seemed that no one ever got close enough to get a proper look before it disappeared again.

It was only the second day of her summer holiday and Gemma was already bored. She had been sent to stay with her Aunt May in Devon while her parents went on another dig – this time they had gone to Keros, a remote Greek island. She had been given the choice to stay in England with Aunt May or follow them to Greece. She had chosen the former. Although Greece was sunny, it would be no fun sitting around a dusty site watching people dig up broken pieces of pottery. Why couldn’t she have a normal family who went on normal holidays like the rest of her friends?

Luckily, she liked Aunt May who was sweet and scatty and let Gemma do more or less whatever she wanted, as long as she didn’t make too much noise and kept her company at dinner. Aunt May spent most of her time in a large shed which she called her ‘studio’. She made what she called ‘a moderate living’ out of painting members of the well-heeled families of the area.

Gemma realised she would be left mostly to her own devices. She wished she could have had her best friend Izzy to stay, but she was at her family’s villa in Spain for three weeks and had some two-week Duke of Edinburgh thing lined up for when she got back. She would miss her. The coming weeks stretched in front of her like an endless road. How was she going to amuse herself? It was a good job she’d brought her Smartphone, MP3 player and Kindle - Aunt May didn’t believe in ‘new-fangled gadgets’ and so only had one small TV in the entire house. On arrival, Gemma had been shocked to find she didn’t even have a games console or a PC!

She thought again about Aunt May’s tall tale of the ‘Invisible House’, which she’d told to Gemma for the second time over dinner on the day she’d arrived. Perhaps that was it? It might be a load of rubbish, but it would give her something to do. She would look for this mysterious house and, if she found it, she would take a picture with her phone and post it on her blog. Maybe she could even get it published in the local paper? It would make a good story – a bit like the Loch Ness monster or something. She was sure it didn’t exist, but it was an excuse to explore beyond the town.

Gemma was sure Aunt May would only worry if she wasn’t at dinner by seven, so she would have the best part of each day to explore the town’s boundary on her aunt’s rusty old bike. If she hadn’t seen anything remotely like this mysterious house by the end of the week she would just write it off and think of something else to do.

In the zone...

At last I am 'in the zone' and making progress on my children's book once more. I've been writing four days in a row and have now written a total of 23 and a half chapters. I had planned on making it 25 chapters long, but I'm nowhere near the end! I'm still aiming to have the first draft done by Christmas, which I think is feasible.
I owe a lot of my motivation and inspiration to my lovely husband B. and my fellow writing group bods, especially K.
To celebrate, I think I'll try and squeeze in one more cup of tea before R. wakes up ;o)

Friday, 11 November 2011

All systems...STOP!

I think I was tempting fate with the title of this post - as soon as I'd finished it my PC crashed and I lost the whole thing!
The title actually refers to our whole buying/selling house triangle, which is getting far too complicated and stressful. I think we'll have to knock the whole thing on the head until the Spring. This means we still don't know where we'll be living next year and, until we can sell one of them, we'll have to rent it out. The whole housing market is in a right mess. I've been a 'landlady' before and I'm really not happy about it, but I think it's our only choice.
On the plus side, I've found suitable childcare for R. starting in February, when I start my first proper freelance contract next year. That's one less thing to worry about at least.
And, I've had another book idea, which means I've got a lot of work to do over the next few years if I want to get them all written! Perhaps I will make some real progress with my writing when things finally settle down a bit...?

Monday, 7 November 2011

Now, if things could just calm down a bit...

The past week or so has been a total blur. B. and I have been running ourselves ragged over jobs (hurrah we've both got new ones lined up) and houses (getting valuations done and trying to turn two small houses into one big one), and trying to keep on top of the usual chores and child-rearing. I love to be busy but things are starting to get silly. If we could just have a little time to catch up with ourselves...
All that said, I think my creative muse has started to tiptoe her way back. I actually wrote something new this morning while I was supposed to be getting ready for the dentist. It's a possible intro to another book (I've already got one well on the go but have had ideas for several others) and I'm quite excited about it. I'm now wondering if I should pursue this one while I've got this enthusiasm and park my current one until I'm inspired to go back to it? Decisions, decisions!
Now, if things could just calm down a bit...